Are you running a photography business? You may find yourself overwhelmed with the competition. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that there are 133,500 photographers in the United States. Although the number of photography jobs has dropped 4% over the previous year, the market is still saturated.
This presents a challenge for photography businesses. You need to know how to stand out to make a living. One of the best ways is through networking.
Networking is Crucial to the Success of Your Networking Business
Networking is an invaluable practice for any growing business and its marketing strategy. With creative professionals, connecting and building relationships with others in your industry can provide lots of opportunities for future work—when done correctly. We have provided some great networking tips in the past, which you might want to revisit.
Below we’ll discuss some of the ‘dos and don’ts’ of networking, and the many ways you can enhance your networking skills.
Playing the Long Game
Networking is not a quick fix or something that will often provide immediate work opportunities, so it can often be deemed a waste of time by those who want instant results. Networking is not meant to work overnight; It is simply planting seeds, that in the hope that with enough time and care, will blossom into a handful of strong relationships. These connections can lead to opportunities that we could never expect or be able to predict.
Strengthening and maintaining business relationships takes time and patience, and we can never know when we’ll reap the benefits of our networking efforts. Those who put in the time, though, will be much better off than those who think of networking as a fruitless endeavor.
Networking and marketing go hand in hand. When engaged in conversation about you and your business, the language you use should be complimentary to your company’s brand and marketing strategy. The challenge here is in making sure that you properly represent yourself and your skill set, while still being able to deliver a friendly and fluid conversation. Not keeping a good balance between the two can easily make your side of the conversation sound like a sales pitch and ingenuine, and can turn off your fellow professionals. The trick is to make yourself stand out.
Having key words or phrases in your back pocket that you know best represent you can help to make this balancing act much easier. This requires knowing your brand and your messaging so well that it rolls easily off your tongue in casual conversation. This is no easy feat. Working with a full-service marketing agency, like Agency Access, is a great way to iron out the details and key factors of your photography business’s brand and marketing strategy. With focused intention on your messaging, you’ll easily be able to speak about you and your business with others.
Finding New Ideas
Striking up a conversation with a fellow creative can not only further a personal relationship, but spark innovation. You never know what lightning bulbs may appear when engaging in conversation with others in your industry. A solid brainstorming session with another creative will leave a lasting impression, and may also lead to a potential future collaboration.
Following up with a fellow creative after meeting solidifies the connection you made and gives you an opportunity to leave them with an extra good impression. Don’t be satisfied with just exchanging business cards at the end of the conversation. Go the extra mile and reach out to make sure they’ll remember you by sending a nice email.
Search for New Clients
Even when you are fully employed, creating connections with other creative professionals and potential clients can provide future opportunities you may one day be thankful for. The best time to look for a job is when you don’t need one, so think of the job search as a continuous practice.
Keep At It
Networking is a key player in any well-rounded marketing strategy. Honing your networking skills and being an active member of your industry’s community will only help further your photography business down the line. Remember to be patient, and build as many genuine, solid relationships as you can. You never know where a personal connection may lead!